Babe (film)

Infobox Film | name = Babe


caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Chris Noonan
producer =
writer = Dick King-Smith (book)
George Miller Chris Noonan
starring = James Cromwell Magda Szubanski Christine Cavanaugh Zoe Burton Miriam Margolyes (voice) Hugo Weaving (voice) Miriam Flynn (voice) Russi Taylor (voice) Roscoe Lee Browne (voice) Doris Grau (voice) Danny Mann (voice)
music = Nigel Westlake
James Horner (Universal logo only)
cinematography =
editing = Marcus D'Arcy
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = August 4 1995
country = flagicon|Australia Australia
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by = "" (1998)
imdb_id = 0112431
Infobox movie certificates
United_States = G

"Babe" is a 1995 Australian film narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne that tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheep dog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs and Border Collies. The film is based on the book "The Sheep-Pig" (known as "Babe: The Gallant Pig" in the U.S.) by Dick King-Smith, and later spawned a sequel called "".

The talking animal visual effects were done by Rhythm and Hues Studios.

Babe was filmed in Robertson, New South Wales, Australia. [cite web |url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/new-south-wales/robertson/2005/02/17/1108500198901.html |title=Robertson – New South Wales – Australia |publisher=theage.com.au |date=2008-04-10 |accessdate=2008-07-20]

Plot

The movie focuses on the story of a pig who is the runt of the litter. After his mother is taken away to be slaughtered by humans (or, as pigs think, to a "Pig Paradise"), his siblings drink from the mechanical milk machine, while he stands alone. This leads to him being picked out by two men to be in a "guess the weight" booth at a carnival. Farmer Hoggett, who makes a special bond with the pig once he looks at it, guesses the correct weight of 16 lbs, 2 oz. and wins the pig. Babe is brought to the farm and is allowed to stay with the dog, Fly, and her pups. After being told he isn't allowed the same privileges as the dogs, such as entering the house and going out to the sheep field, he encounters a duck named Ferdinand. Ferdinand wakes the farm each morning by stealing the cock's job and crowing. He tricks Babe into helping him destroy the alarm clock the Hoggetts have because it threatens his job. The two succeed, but end up waking the cat and covering the living room with paint. Babe gets in trouble with the dogs and is told to stay away from Ferdinand and the house. Babe then meets Maa, a resident sheep. She tells him what a nice pig he is and how he should watch out for some dogs called "wolves". Fly's puppies are then sold and Fly becomes upset. She decides to call Babe her son to help her through the heartbreak.

At Christmas, Mrs. Hoggett is dead set on having ham. Hoggett, however, has taken an unexplainable shine to Babe, and manages to convince his wife to keep him so they can show him in the fair. Instead of pork, they and their visiting family have duck instead. This is the last straw for the duck's nerves, and Babe helps Ferdinand fly the coop so he won't become dinner himself. Babe then accidentally opens the door to the sheep field and decides to venture in. Here, he witnesses two men trying to steal the sheep with the help of their dogs. He goes to alert Fly, her mate Rex, and Mr. Hoggett, who are able to prevent some of the sheep from being taken. Babe watches Fly herd the sheep and decides that he too wants to be a sheepdog.

The next day Mr. Hoggett sees Babe herd the hens outside into a straight line, separating the brown ones from the white ones. Impressed, he takes the pig to the sheep field with Fly and Rex. Rex feels threatened by Babe, especially when Hoggett tells Babe rather than Rex to herd the sheep. Taking advice from Fly to be rough, Babe charges in and bites Maa. This angers the sheep, so Babe decides to be nice and ask politely. The sheep then file out in a straight line, impressing Farmer Hoggett. That night, Rex attacks Fly for putting ideas in Babe's head. Fly's right-front leg is injured, and Rex is chained to the dog house and sedated. It is now Babe's job to herd the sheep.

Hoggett soon considers entering Babe in the sheepdog trials. One morning, as Babe runs out to the field early he witnesses a pack of "wolf" dogs attacking the sheep. After scaring them away by ramming into their sides, he learns that Maa was fatally wounded and dies. Hoggett sees Babe standing over the dead sheep (with blood on his snout) and assumes the worst. As he prepares to shoot Babe, Fly tries to talk to the sheep for the first time to find out what happened. By barking, she manages to distract Mr. Hoggett long enough to allow Mrs. Hoggett to come out and tell how she heard that wild dogs killed six sheep on another farm.

When Mrs. Hoggett leaves town for a ladies' meeting, Mr. Hoggett enters Babe in the sheepdog trials under the name "Pig". That evening, the Hoggetts spoiled cat scratches Babe when he tries to talk to her, and she is thrown outside into the rain (under a roofed porch, but still cold). She sneaks back in and apologizes at first, but quickly turns the conversation into telling Babe how humans eat pigs. Fly confirms this when Babe runs to her for the truth. That night Babe runs away, but is found by Hoggett muddy and barely alive the next morning. Babe refuses to eat, so Hoggett gives him a drink in a bottle. He starts to sing, and this eventually leads to dancing for him (while the other animals watch through the windows). This restores Babe's faith in the farmer.

After much debate on whether Babe should be in the trials, the officials allow him to participate, as there is no rule saying the entrant must be a dog. However, the trial sheep refuse to listen to Babe. Rex runs back to the farm to get the secret password from the sheep The sheep only consent to give Rex this password for Babe, when Rex promises to treat the sheep better in the future. He runs back to the trials and tells Babe the password. Fly and Rex then forgive each other for their fight earlier. Using the Sheep password, Babe is able to convince the sheep to do what he asks them to, and they perform flawlessly.

After getting five perfect 10.0s and the adoration of the crowd, Babe sits next to Hoggett.

Characters

*Babe (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh): the main protagonist. He is a baby pig who was raised by the sheepdog Fly. He is considered one of the stupid animals at first, but becomes a hero in the end. Unlike his dog family, his tactic of herding sheep is to ask nicely and they listen.
*Arthur Hoggett (played by James Cromwell): the farmer of Hoggett Farm. He is referred to by the animals as "The Boss". (The exception being Duchess, who considers him "The Boss's husband.") Unlike his wife, he sees how valuable Babe (or in his case "Pig") really is on the farm. He rarely speaks. In fact, it is noted by the Narrator at the end of the film that in his life, Arthur has spoken fewer words than anybody in the stadium at the sheepdog trials.
*Fly (voiced by Miriam Margolyes): Hoggett's female border collie sheepdog. She is the first to consider Babe as one of the family. She is a strong believer in the way things are. Like Rex, she views the sheep as inferior. She is the mother of a litter of pups. Though she firmly believes that sheep are the stupidest animals on the farm, she asks the sheep for information while Farmer Hoggett was under the suspicion that Babe killed MAA.
*Rex (voiced by Hugo Weaving): Farmer Hoggett's lead sheepdog who fathered Fly's puppies. He is a strong believer in the way things are. When Babe starts herding sheep, he becomes jealous and very vicious toward everyone. Especially Fly for encouraging Babe. Rex seems to have an especial hatred towards sheep. Both he and Fly blame the "stupidity of sheep" for his impaired hearing that kept him from the Grand National Sheepdog Champion title. Eventually, he helps Babe win the sheepdog tournament by asking the sheep at Hogget Farm for help.
*Maa (voiced by Miriam Flynn): the old ewe who lives on Hoggett Farm. She is very old, but cares an awful lot about Babe and does not want him growing up like the dogs, who she views as savages. She teaches Babe that sheep will do anything if you ask nicely. She dies because of stray dogs attacking her. She is loved by everyone.
*Ferdinand (voiced by Danny Mann): A duck. He is all too aware of his tenuous existence and lowly status on the farm, and is somewhat neurotic as a result. Because ducks are viewed as one of the stupid animals, he tries to find a purpose by waking up the Bosses in the morning, much to the annoyance of the Bosses and the rooster. He befriends Babe and tries to get him to destroy the alarm clock. He leaves at one point, but returns after a while. He's allergic to cats.
*Esmé Hoggett (played by Magda Szubanski): Arthur Hoggett's wife. She is very happy when Arthur wins Babe at the carnival, for she sees Babe as a delicious Christmas Dinner. She becomes shocked to see Babe in the sheepdog tournament. She is part of the County Women's Guild. She has a daughter, a son in law, and two grandchildren. She always refers to her husband as "Hoggett" even when she speaks to the veterinarian.
*Dutchess (voiced by Russi Taylor): the Hoggetts' spoiled cat. She does not like Babe at all. Although the film has no main antagonist, she plays a villainous role. Just when Babe was getting excited about the sheepdog trials, she convinces him to run away by telling him that humans only keep pigs to eat them. Unlike the other animals on the farm, when she is talking about the Boss, she is referring to Mrs. Hoggett.
*The Horse: a horse who pulls Arthur Hoggett's carriage.
*The Cow: a cow who is a strong believer in the way things are, for her job is to make milk.
*The Singing Mice: a chorus of mice who introduce each chapter. Every other time, they appear singing silly songs such as "Blue Moon", "That's Amore", and an aria in French. They also appear to sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks (although the actors that voice the chipmunks do not voice the mice).

Crew

*Directed by Chris Noonan
*Written by George Miller and Chris Noonan
*Art Direction by Laurie Faen
*Music by Nigel Westlake
*Special Effects by Rhythm and Hues Studios
*Sheep Characters by Jim Cox and Robotechnology
*Animatronic Characters by Jim Henson's Creature Shop
*From The Novel by Dick King-Smith

Soundtrack

This Nigel Westlake score includes a Grammy-winning song "If I Had Words."The main 'theme' (heard in "If I Had Words") from the film is taken from Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3, "Organ."

Soundtrack album track listing

# If I Had Words - performed by Yvonne Keeley & Scott Fitzgerald - 2:53
# This is a Tale... - 1:47
# Fairground - 2:07
# I Want My Mum - 1:07
# The Way Things Are - 2:06
# Crime and Punishment - 1:35
# Anorexic Duck Pizzicati - 1:24
# Repercussions - 1:40
# Toreador/Mother and Son - 2:28
# Pork is Nice Sweet Meat/Away in a Manger - 3:02
# Christmas Morning - 1:41
# Blue Moon - 0:38
# Round Up - 2:00
# Babe's Round Up - 1:39
# The Sheep Pig - 1:27
# Dog Tragedy - 1:32
# Hoggett Shows Babe - 0:57
# Maa's Death - 1:02
# Cantique de Jean Racine/The Cat - 2:17
# If I Had Words - performed by James Cromwell - 2:17
# Baa Ram Ewe - 0:45
# The Gauntlet/Moment of Truth - 1:41
# That'll Do Pig, That'll Do - 1:35

Reception

The film was a critical success and was very warmly received.Fact|date=September 2008 It currently holds a 98% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a 100% approval rating from Top critics, making it one of the best rated films on their website. [ [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1065598-babe/ Babe Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, which surprised some critics. ["Siskel & Ebert" week of February 16, 1996 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfMZDZVAb1k Part 1] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQT4ExNBAR8 Part 2] ] It won the award for Best Visual Effects, defeating "Apollo 13". [ [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950804/REVIEWS/508040301/1023 :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews :: Babe (xhtml) ] ]

It was also a box office success grossing $254,134,910 worldwide. [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=babe.htm Babe (1995) ] ]

However, due to its title and subject matter not being "halal", the film was initially banned in Malaysia, [ [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/nov2006/db20061107_885480.htm Banning Borat ] ] although it was later released on VHS and VCD.

Academy Awards

Won

* Academy Award for Visual Effects - Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlan, John Cox

Nominated

* Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Cromwell)
* Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
* Best Director
* Best Film Editing
* Best Picture
* Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Home video release history

*March 19, 1996 (VHS and laserdisc)
*November 7, 1999 (DVD)
*November 10, 1998 (VHS and laserdisc - Universal Family Features with THX, the last laserdisc release)
*February 23, 1999 (DVD - DTS)
*May 22, 2001 (DVD - 2-Pack with "")
*September 23, 2003 (VHS and DVD - Special Edition, the Special Edition DVD and The Complete Adventure Two-Movie Pig Pack with the second film "" were released in separate widescreen and pan and scan formats. As of this date, this is the film's first and only widescreen DVD release, not counting the box set with "Curious George". To promote the "80th Academy Awards" ceremony, the same widescreen DVD print of the film with an extra Academy Awards DVD cover is available at stores.)
*February 1, 2005 (DVD - Family Double Feature, this contains ') (Note:"' This DVD shows pan and scan versions of both films and the widescreen version of the second film.)
*August 28, 2007 (DVD - Family Favorite Treasures, this DVD contains "Beethoven" and "The Cat in the Hat") (Note: All three films on this DVD are in pan and scan only.) [ [http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/detail.php?p=32364 Family Favorite Treasures 3-Movie Collection - Universal Studios - NBC Universal Store ] ]
*November 6, 2007 (DVD - Two-Movie Collection with "Curious George") (Note: This is a widescreen DVD box set only, meaning that outside of the box set, the widesrceen DVD may still be available like it is at Blockbuster Inc.) [ [http://www.fye.com/Curious-George-Babe--2-Discs--Front-Page_stcVVproductId21566068VVcatId455366VVviewprod.htm FYE: DVD Search - Curious George/Babe [2 Discs DVD / G ] ]

References

External links

*
* " [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1065598-babe/ Babe] " at Rotten Tomatoes
* [http://www.easybyte.org Easybyte] - free easy piano arrangement of "Excerpt from Organ Symphony # 3 - Finale" by Camille Saint-Saëns plus midi sound file
* [http://colsearch.nfsa.afc.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;adv=yes;group=;groupequals=;holdingType=;page=0;parentid=;query=278933;querytype=;rec=0;resCount=10 Babe at the National Film and Sound Archive]


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